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Legislature 2000

The issues are volatile; the players unpredictable; the atmosphere highly charged. The fight over Gov. Jeb Bush's One Florida plan, which would end race, ethnic and sex-based preferences in university admissions and state contracts, is taking place mostly along racial lines. Then there are term limits: a big chunk of the Legislature has to leave office after this session. Will they turn maverick? Expect lots of wrangling over health care and transportation. With 3,000 lobbyists in residence, though, plenty more issues will surface. It may get ugly. It certainly will be interesting.

May 31, 2000

Bush slashes local projects
TALLAHASSEE -- Declaring that he did not come to Tallahassee to "be a big-spending liberal," Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday used his veto pen to cut a whopping $313-million from the state's budget.

Governor saves school impact fee
TALLAHASSEE -- Disappointing home builders statewide, Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday blocked a plan to sharply reduce school impact fees in 15 fast-growing counties, including Citrus, Hernando and Hillsborough.

May 27, 2000

With budget in hand, time to talk turkeys
It is full of pet projects that fit the "turkey" definition that Gov. Bush declared war on last year.

Switching party ties brings home bacon
TALLAHASSEE -- Switch to the Republican Party, and reap the rewards.

Lucy Morgan
It's good riddance to 2000 Legislature
Tallahassee's air suddenly seems cleaner. The traffic is better. People are smiling all around us. The Legislature is gone.

May 21, 2000

  • Riding without a helmet?
    If Gov. Jeb Bush signs legislation repealing Florida's helmet law, bikers will be deciding whether or not to ride bareheaded.
  • Florida 'barely passing' ethics test
    A national report on potential conflicts of interest finds legislators in Tallahassee wanting in several respects.

May 18

May 9

May 7

May 6

May 5

May 3

  • House, Senate make $51-billion budget deal
    TALLAHASSEE -- The House and Senate struck an overnight deal on a nearly $51-billion state budget that has something in it to make almost everyone happy.
  • Education overhaul
    In a landmark day of dealmaking, leaders of the Florida Legislature agree to abolish the Board of Regents, add two law schools and one medical school, plus boost pay for public school teachers.
  • Wiggy remarks
    After being presented with an Afro wig and sunglasses on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Robert Starks, R-Casselberry, thanks Rep. Al Lawson for naming him an honorary member of the Black Caucus for his support of minority issues.
  • Vouchers proposed for disabled students
    The legislation would grant private school tuition aid to some students with special needs.
  • Butterworth: I won't defend bill
    The attorney general calls the House-passed "sovereign lands" bill unconstitutional.
  • Late at night, deal was sealed
    TALLAHASSEE -- Senate President Toni Jennings vowed to keep the Legislature in session as long as it took to get her way. House Speaker John Thrasher said he wouldn't bend.

May 2

April 30

Session shaped by last hurrahs
The departure of so many lawmakers -- because of term limits -- helps set the mood at the state Capitol.

April 29

April 28

April 27

April 26

  • Medical, law schools racing to floor votes
    A mix of cash and clout and an atmosphere of compromise among politicians may mean the time is right for setting up three professional schools.
  • Senate health package retooled
    Republican leaders in the Senate retooled their health care package Tuesday, adding goodies for a number of industries in an effort to win approval for granting patients the right to sue HMOs.

April 25

April 22

April 20

April 19

April 18

April 17

April 15

April 14, 2000

April 13, 2000

April 12, 2000

April 11, 2000

April 10, 2000

  • GOP targets land use limits
    State lawmakers see a chance to rework the laws that they say have hurt development and agriculture in Florida.
  • Among the bills
    Here are a few of the bills that Florida environmentalists are warning against.

April 8, 2000

April 7, 2000

April 6, 2000

April 5, 2000

April 4, 2000

April 2, 2000

  • Republicans buck Bush agenda
    Term limits are forcing many lawmakers out and causing some Republicans to "push the envelope."
  • FSU med school: practical or pork?
    TALLAHASSEE -- State Rep. Durell Peaden Jr. is a proud product of rural Florida, a country doctor born and raised in DeFuniak Springs, one of the many communities he says has been badly neglected by Florida's medical establishment.

March 31, 2000

March 29, 2000

March 28, 2000

March 24, 2000

  • Legislator pulls no punches in development debate
    TALLAHASSEE -- Ocala Republican Rep. George Albright took the gloves off Thursday at the Capitol, delivering a scorching diatribe against Florida environmentalists and saying state land planners are people "that have never had a real job or owned land."
  • Health secretary: Help 'elect godly and moral people'
    TALLAHASSEE -- In a luncheon address to the Christian Coalition of Florida on Thursday, Florida Health Secretary Bob Brooks urged the crowd to keep trying to get more Christians in political posts, so that good can triumph over evil.

March 23, 2000

March 22, 2000

March 21, 2000
Everglades bill passes first test

The measure clears a Senate panel, though lawmakers dispute how much South Florida should pay.

March 18, 2000

  • Senate budget rewards teachers
    Republican leaders propose boosting salaries by 8 percent as part of a larger effort to recruit and retain more teachers.
  • Crist: Justices shaped new law
    Florida justices Harding and Wells say they had no substantial input into new limits on death penalty appeals. Rep. Victor Crist says otherwise.
  • Lucy Morgan: Old warrior steels for a fight with legislators
    The Legislature has done it now. They've gone and gotten Chesterfield Smith's dander up.

March 17, 2000

March 16, 2000

March 15, 2000

March 14, 2000

March 11, 2000

[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
A bill to require locks, like this one, on the triggers of guns kept where children live was proposed last session, but quickly died. The governor has said he would not support further gun control.
March 10, 2000

March 9, 2000

March 8, 2000
[AP photo]
Law enforcement officlals estimated 9,000 to 11,00 people rallied to hear speakers such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

On bus from Pinellas to capital, 'We're all as one'
Headed for the asphalt hills of the state capital, friends and strangers gathered in a sandy parking lot of a St. Petersburg church Tuesday long before dawn would crack.

[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
Gov. Jeb Bush did not specifically mention the protest rally during his State of the State speech Tuesday, but he said he's "doing the right thing."
As Gov. Jeb Bush delivers his State of the State speech inside the Capitol, a crowd of some 11,000 rallies against his plan to reshape affirmative action. Story

Bush rolls the video to open Legislature
In his State of the State speech, the governor defends One Florida and puts on a show to help push his Republican agenda.

Connerly in clear as Democrats kick Bush
Freight trains, hurtling past each other.
[Howard Troxler column]

Legislators delay judicial plan vote
At issue is a proposal that would give the governor more control over the panels that choose court candidates.

March 7, 2000
legislature party
Florida legislators and lobbyists mingle Monday night at a party hosted by Associated Industries of Florida at its headquarters in Tallahassee.

[Times photo: Scott Keeler]

High-tone party is prelude to down-and-dirty session
Before the Legislature even begins, some emotional and contentious issues are looming. But Monday, it was the traditional party for lots of powerful people.

March 6, 2000

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